Thursday, July 31, 2008

Flashpoint in a Flash: Episode 5

No, we didn't skip an episode. We just learned that this was actually supposed to be the 5th episode in the series, and not the 4th one (which explains why you Power Ranger fans didn’t hear Amy’s song this week). This was likely done because the Olympics are starting up soon and ratings may drop. Sorry for the delay, I had a few surprises I had to deal with tonight. I may change this later once I can actually watch the episode in peace (this was really rushed, even by my standards). I ignored the commercials this time around (sorry, for those of you who enjoyed my random commercial banter. It will return next week!). Read the summary after the jump!

Asking For Flowers

We begin with a shot of the lovely Harbourfront in Toronto. The team heads out into the Marina where a standoff is going down inside a boat. A woman holds a gun to a man as reinforcements move in... and REWIND! 4 hours earlier. The same woman is trying to get inside a house, calling to her sister to let her in. Desperation ensues, and she picks up a rock from outside and breaks a window in the front door to let herself in. The security alarm goes off, and we learn that the woman inside the house is Sadie. Sadie is found in the bathroom on the floor beaten and bleeding. Rebecca is this sister who has come to help her, and she helps her clean up. Back at SRU HQ, Braddock is running on a treadmill watching a chick flick. Sorry Sam, no matter how hard you try you are not giving Christian Bale a run for his money ~_~ . The other officers make small talk about his choice of movies amongst their banter. At the house, Rebecca goes to check on Sadie’s baby daughter Caitlyn. Sadie tries to get into a comfortable position on her bed. At HQ, the other officers talk about their lives, especially how Ed Lane and his son don’t have anything in common and how he’s getting bullied at school. Back at the house, Rebecca tries to comfort a crying Caitlyn when she discovers blood on the blanket and she tries to convince Sadie to call the police. Sadie doesn’t think it’s going to work because her husband is a cop. Rebecca finds a gun in the closet and loads it. She puts back the keys to the lockbox after she says, “This is going to end”. Rebecca reassures Sadie that everything is going to be okay, and she goes to give Caitlyn a bottle. ROLL OPENING! At HQ, the team finds that there’s nothing too much out of the ordinary so they split up and head out on patrol to different ends of the city. Rebecca walks into a bar and has a drink. She encounters Sadie’s husband Pete and invites him for a drink, hiding the fact she knows Sadie is bruised up at home. At the house, Sadie discovers the gun is gone and worries on her bed. She calls a guy named Matt. Ed and Wordsworth drive through the town , continuing to talk about what to do about this bullying situation. Ed gets a call from this Matt who is a lawyer and stuck in court. He gets the heads up on the situation, but he is unsure what is going on as not even Matt knows. At the bar, we learn that Pete has been promoted to Sargent. Ed and Wordsworth arrive at Sadie’s house, and they ask what’s going on. Sadie is hesitant but lets them into the house and she puts Caitlyn down. The SRU sees blood on the wall. Sadie says that her sister came by and took the gun. The officers leave and suspect there is more to the story. Matt tells them that Rebecca might be obssesed with Pete and has been stalking him. Pete leaves the bar, visibly wasted. Rebecca is outside waiting for him, and offers to drive Pete home, but Pete thinks he is good to drive. Rebecca plays fishy and says she doesn’t have a car, and gets into the car with Pete. Pete decides to go to another bar for some more drinks, but Rebecca suggests they go to Pete’s boat. The team goes into action and heads to the bar. Meanwhile, Pete and Rebecca head to his boat. Ed asks around about them at the bar, and no one knows where they are. Ed thinks they might be having an affair, but then Ed tries to suggest that maybe he is abusing her, but no one really confirms the accusation. The team mobilizes and heads to their vans. At the boat, Rebecca talks about how Pete and Sadie could have travelled to Italy in it and the team arrives at the marina. Pete drinks wine right out of the bottle and says something about Sadie not being good enough for him. The team plans their approach to end this situation. Ed finally comes out and says the wife was lying as they move into position and try to gather the background of the story. Pete continues rambling how Caitlyn’s birth made Sadie very grumpy. Jules starts to make the mission report, and the team jumps into nearby boats for a better view. Pete throws a complete curveball and tries to make moves on Rebecca claiming he picked the wrong sister. The team can’t see inside the boat, and uses a radio from someone else’s boat. Rebecca stops the game and starts accusing Pete of beating Sadie from the beginning of their wedding. An argument ensues, and Pete tells Rebecca to leave. She pulls out the gun, and Braddock spots them and moves in to see better. Rebecca is ready to shoot Pete. She tells him to go to a friend’s place, let her get a divorce, but he disagrees. Greg gets on a bullhorn and starts negotiating. At gunpoint, Rebecca forces Pete to take the rope off the post and the boat slowly floats away. It’s now sunset, and the boat is well away from the marina. Sadie arrives on the scene and they are trying to make sense of the situation. Greg rethinks his negotiation strategy with the rest of the team and gets Pete and Rebecca’s cell phone numbers. Wordsworth tells Sadie a story that it took 2 years for him to figure out that his best friend growing up was in an abusive marriage. At the boat, Rebecca tells Pete to turn on his cell phone and kick it over. Pete takes matters into his own hands and grabs a hold of Rebecca and throws her around. Wordsworth tells Sadie that they might have to kill Rebecca, and Sadie shows Wordsworth the wound on her chest. Sadie begs for them not to hurt Rebecca. . The team prepares to enter the boat without wetsuits. Pete fakes that Rebecca is beating him over the cell phone. Wordsworth tells Jules that Pete is problem, not Rebecca. Now the team knows what is going on and they change their strategy. Pete punches out Rebecca and It’s now night. Rebecca is unconscious, Pete continues to pretend that he is the victim. The team plays along with his story as they head to the boat. Ed tells Pete that Rebecca broke out of the house and plays along that Rebecca is the one out of control. He tells him he is a good cop and he shouldn’t let things get out of control, amongst talk of getting a restraining order. The team enters the boat, finds Pete and cuff him on the spot. He thinks that this is all going according to his plan. They cuff Rebecca just to make it look like it’s in his favor. The team brings him to their command truck, and they show him evidence he tried to kill Rebecca. Pete learns he is the one under arrest. Sadie goes with Rebecca in the ambulance to the hospital. And this isn’t Amy Jo Johnson’s song playing...Jules and Braddock share a laugh on a truck, and Ed calls his son telling him he wants to play video games with him. Ed goes home to his wife. Next week: A Bank Robbery goes out of hand when the Robber takes everyone hostage inside.

There was definitely a lot more at play than just the incident this episode, we saw a slice of Ed trying to deal with issues at home. This episode asked the question, how far do you go if the person responsible is one of your own? Sometimes you have to play a little to bring the enemy to justice. As always, we can't wait for next week's episode!

Caption This #3

This week's bizarre fanart crossover comes from one of our favorite sites, Outpost Daria. We're all fans of Daria here at Moon Chase, and this is one show that we really wish would be released on DVD - almost as much as Sailor Moon! This work, drawn by Katie Cook in 1999, features the Fashion Club (Quinn Morgendorffer, Sandi Griffin, Stacy Rowe, and Tiffany Blum-Deckler) in all their airheaded glory as the Dark Moon Circus from Sailor Moon R. Still, we shudder at the thought of a possibility of a real crossover between the two...

Stacy: These ruffles are like so 1957! I can't wear this, I don't know what I'm going to do with this!
Sandi: Perhaps you should have thought of that before you put that on.
Tiffany: (Slowly)Ruffles...are like so baaaaaad and -
Quinn: Guys, stop fighting. Remember, we are the face of evil so we have our own fashion!
Tiffany: Quinn, you're a genius.
Sandi: (turns away with her nose in the air)

The Me:
Tiffany: (Slowly) Uuummmmm.. What's with this whip? It's soooo icky..
Stacy: I don't know, but this skirt is too short! Everyone's going to be staring at my butt..
Tiffany: Staaaacy.. That wooord...
Stacy: Sorry!
Sandi: At least your midriff is covered. Showing this much midriff is so last year.
Quinn: Guys, I think we have bigger problems.. We're being portrayed as the bad guys again.
Sandi: Quinn.. What do you mean, AGAIN?
Quinn: (Looking nervous) Nothing, Sandi. Forget I said it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What the Heck Were They Thinking, Again?

We're getting tired of people comparing Britney Spears to Sailor Moon. Okay, maybe she is starting to clean up and get her life back in order but please. Just because she makes an anime video does not mean that it's just like Sailor Moon. Anime is so much more than our favorite blonde, odangoed, superhero. First we had to deal with Diane Middleton of the Jacksonville Times-Union, now we have to deal with MuchMusic's Video on Trial. Video On Trial aims to take every music video ever made and subject it to the judgment of a jury of 5 or 6 people (mostly comedians). We've got a video of the review, and around 3:52 you will hear one of the jurors say "But seriously, I hope Sailor Moon is getting royalties." Maybe with all these horrible references, she should be getting paid. For those of you who are wondering, that isn't really Celine Dion in the video, but comedienne Laura Landauer.

News From The Other Side Of the Pond 16 (Part 2)

Hey Moonies: in our best efforts to keep up with everyone, there's been too many sightings as of late. So we are going to only mention a few this time around with the actors of Sera Myu and the anime. There's close to 50 sightings and we can't possibly report on them all right now. Once Fall rolls around we think it will get a little easier to keep up with everyone.
Ooyama Takayo Has New DVD!

Ooyama Takayo (Sailor Neptune in Sera Myu) has become an idol of both stage and film in Japan. On June 17th, she released a cosplay idol DVD entitled Profile ‘08. She dresses up in various different roles, including a housemaid, teacher, policewoman, and even in chinese traditional dress. She also appears as a cheerleader who is full of energy! On July 24th, she will make an appearance in the play Osaero. Her hobbies include music and dance, and many fans may be surprised to learn that Ooyama is an accomplished Taiko drummer!

Kasumi Suzuki in New Movie!

Kasumi Suzuki (Manna in Sera Myu) has a leading role in a Japanese movie just released in Japan called Compassion Ren based on the light novel of the same name. This one is a drama about a mysterious girl who appears in a classroom after a boy gets out of the hospital. He is intrigued by this girl, who is very dark and emotional. The boy shows her compassion and love, and the story goes from there. She plays Tomoka Uehara, another student in the class and a friend of the main character.

Kaori Moriwaka to Reunite With Old Band!

Kaori Moriwaka (Ikuko Tsukino in PGSM, pictured in the middle) used to be a rocker. She was the lead singer with a band called the Go Bang's from 1986-1994. They had a punk-influenced bubblegum pop sound, and though they faded, many bands today cite the Go Bang's as a major influence. After 14 years of being apart, the band announced a reunion on popular variety show SMAP x SMAP! Two weeks ago, The Go Bang's Best Collection 1988-1991 was released featuring great hits like Invincible Venus and Come To See Me, I Need You! along with some remixes. On October 4th, the band will reunite on stage at Kaolyrics 08' Electric Style, held at the Omotesanbo FAB club in Tokyo.

Kappei Yamaguchi Appears at Rumiko Takahashi Exhibit!

Rumiko Takahashi just opened an exhibit of her work in the Matsuya Ginza department store branch in Ginza. It's a Rumic World is being put on to celebrate the end (finally!) of the Inu-Yasha manga. Kappei Yamaguchi (Artemis in PGSM, 2nd from left) appeared at the official ribbon cutting and he said he didn't expect to see so many people come out! Kappei will be appearing at next month's Otakon, for all our readers planning on attending!

Toru Furuya is Everywhere!

Toru Furuya (Tuxedo Kamen) is the one seiyuu who keeps us on our feet. We find so many news stories about everything and anything that he is up to that often we get sad when we see all the things we have to write about. In the last three months alone, Toru scored a role in World Masterpiece Theater: Porphy's Long Journey as Jack Barubattsa, voiced Toppi Topuran in World Destruction for the Nintendo DS, and appeared at a Toy Fair for a new Gundam Beam Sword toy. But wait, there's so much more. So much more, that in fact we have decided to give this energetic Seiyuu a nickname. When you take the first two letters of his first and last name, what do you get? ToFu! Pudgy, cute, full of energy, and found almost everywhere! Oh wait, our ToFu needs a picture. There we go, Tuxedo ToFu!

ToFu is currently promoting Intel's new line of 45nm processors in Japan at the Intel in Akiba 2008 Summer conference. He will be speaking there on August 2nd. A few days ago, he demonstrated the PND MAPLUS E-100MP GPS Navagation System for cars. ToFu has done a lot of promotional engagements for gadgets, and we've always wondered why he has taken a special interest in computers. He just gave an interview with PC Online about how he can't live without his PC. And, it all goes back to an injury. In 1984, he was helping pack up the drums at Yomiuri Hall after finishing a concert with Slapstick. Unfortunately, he broke a rib when a drum fell off a stand 3 meters high, and had to rest for a whole month while it healed. While he was resting, he read about the Yamaha CX5 music computer. Toru got one, and played with it while he was recuperating. He became so interested in it that very quickly he learned basic programming skills. He taught himself BASIC on his gigantic computer in those days, and wrote programs such as easy games and tax calculators. He took pride in his work, and still uses a synthesizer to create music and create neat effects with his voice to this day. He doesn't program very much these days as it is a lot harder now with windows for him, but likes to use free, open-source software when he can. Hey, maybe his technophilia isn't such a bad thing! He maintains and updates his own webpage almost every day, and uses his computer for word processing, email, and digital photography (he edits them too). He likes HTML because it is very easy and there is a lot he can do with it. At the end of this year he wants to build his own PC, with the new Intel Quad Core processor, a Blu-Ray drive, and attachments so he can digitize music from his guitar. He wants to make music for his homepage!

But wait, we have even MORE ToFu news. And we have a really big exclusive for you all after the jump!

Toru Furuya Releases Album!

Last March (but unbeknownst to many until early last month) ToFu released an album called Heroes ~ to my Treasure ~. He sings songs in the perspectives of some of his most famous characters, including Ray Amuro from Gundam, Pegasus Seiya from Saint Seiya, Kyosuke from Kimagure Orange Road, and Tuxedo Kamen from Sailor Moon. He wrote a song called Lalah's Nocturne, about a character in Gundam. Japanese Rocker Gackt also worked with him on that track. Unfortunately, the booklet had errors, and here are the corrections for those of you fans with the wrong copies. We heard the album and it's a little cheezy. Courtesy of Evolusean, we have a translation of the song he wrote for Sailor Moon called Everlasting My Love. He wrote this song as a tribute to the love eternal between Mamoru and Usagi. We've posted the translation below. Fans wanting to read an English interview he did in April, click here!

Everlasting My Love
Lyrics: Toru Furuya
Translation: Evolusean

On a blue-moon night, my heart is restless for no reason.
Walking alone, my shadow sways in the moonlight.

Our meeting was by chance--a destiny that pierced
Straight through to the core of my body.

Even though I don't know why a single tear streamed
Down your wounded cheek as I held you without thinking,

I love you. From the heart. With all of my being
I feel, throughout my body, your past--even your future.
I love you. More than anyone. With my life
I will protect you. Everlasting my love.

On a red-starred night, unable to sleep, I think of you.
My song is a siren that painfully echoes through the city.

Our meeting was in a past life--a passionate emotion
That nestled close from beyond time and space.

Without hesitation, I placed mine on your dainty lips.
The moonlight illuminated your closed eyelids.

I love you. From the heart. With all of my being.
So much that my throbbing body wilts--a rose.
I love you. More than anyone. By my life
I vow to God. Everlasting my love.

Your slender shoulders shake as you laugh.
I will eagerly unlock the door to your heart.

I love you. From the heart. With all of my being.
I feel, throughout my body, your past--even your future.
I love you. More than anyone. With all of my life.
I will protect you. Everlasting my love.
Together forever. Everlasting my love.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Flashpoint is Going To Oz!

Hours ago, news broke out that Stephanie Morgenstern's (Sailor Venus #1)Flashpoint is going to see the Wizard! We kid, we kid, but we could not resist making another Oz joke. Flashpoint is headed to Australia very soon on Channel Nine! Nine Network announced the acquisition via eNews media releases. Though no date is given, we're going to guess September or October for the Down Under premiere. So now all you Sailor Venus fans in Australia can finally see what all of us in North America are watching! We couldn't help but notice a glaring error in the article's title. The show is from Canada, not the United States. We hope someone corrects this soon. Congratulations to Stephanie Morgenstern and Mark Ellis again on their success!

Flashpoint Continues To Dominate!

Flashpoint's ratings for it's encore showing on Sunday pulled some good numbers! On CBS the show scored 2.6 out of 5, or for those of us who understand other numbers, 4 million viewers, which was 1 million more than a rerun of Desperate Housewives on ABC. In Canada, the show has been gaining lots of viewers in the 18-49 age group, and holding on to its numbers in the 25-54s. Both age groups are returning numbers in the 400,000s. Flashpoint's success in the United States has helped pave the way for other TV shows from Canada to cross the border. ABC is now collaborating with CBC on a pilot for a Montreal sitcom called 18 to Life. This one is about two 18-year-old neighbours who marry on a dare only to face criticism from their parents (YIKES!). Fox has also acquired the rights to produce a U.S. version of CBC's homegrown-now-international hit, Little Mosque on the Prairie. We're a little disappointed because a few VAs have appeared on the show with really good performances, and they probably won't be seen by any of their American fans. Maria Vacratsis' (Queen Metallia) performance as Mother Hamoudi was one to see!

In more random Flashpoint trivia news, Enrico Colantoni (Sgt. Gregory Parker, the negotiator) loves being back home in Toronto. He still has a lot of family there, and was recently quoted "I've always got somewhere to go on Sunday. There's always a warm place with pasta to eat at my uncle's house." Aww, isn't that nice to have somewhere to enjoy pasta with family and friends after a long week on the job! For all of you Pink Ranger fans, Amy Jo Johnson's song Dancing In-Between will be on this week's episode Asking For Flowers. We're really excited for this episode as the SRU has to face the tough choice of what to do with one of their own: an abusive cop's sister-in-law can't bear to see his battered wife in pain any longer. She takes matters into her own hands - with his gun. There is a short clip of the song on Amy's website, and CTV has also put up a page with all the music used in the series here. There's a mistake though, Episode 4 is not called Attention Shopper.

More of Sailor Moon’s Influence!

Malaysian Mangaka Wins Prize From Kodansha!

Japanese manga giant Kodansha recently held it’s second annual Morning International Manga Competition, a manga competition for aspiring mangaka outside of Japan. The winners of the competition get their works published in their Morning and Morning Two magazines. One of the second place winners this year is Katheryn Chong, an 18 year old Malaysian Mangaka who has been drawing manga ever since she was 10 years old. One of the first characters she drew was Sailor Moon, and this inspired her to dream for a career in manga. Kathryn’s Puppet Eyes, a manga about puppets fashioned like real humans who think they might be real, won her $2000 USD. The MIMC judges were "impressed by the talent of a 17-year-old who creates this kind of story." We read the manga online and were very impressed with it - she is still so young and has so much talent already! We have no doubt, she will have a future in the manga industry! When Kathryn learned of her win, she was so overwhelmed that her family suggested her reaction should have been videotaped and put up on YouTube. Kathryn began Puppet Eyes as soon as she had finished her SPM exams (needed before Pre-University) and it took her a month. She learned a lot about what it takes to make a good manga, such as character development and detail. To Kathryn , we salute you for achieving your dream and we wish you the best of luck for the future!

Is The Internet Changing How We Read?

Coming from the New York Times a few days ago, we read of a story that’s given us something to think about. Teenager Nadia Konyk is addicted to the internet - so much so that she doesn’t read books anymore. She’d rather be reading long stories on the internet. Like quite a few readers that we know, she spends her time catching up on social networking sites, YouTube, and Gaia online. When she was younger, her mother tried to read her the Harry Potter books, but she was more interested in anime like Sailor Moon. The article asks the question that with the advent of the internet, is it a good thing that it is inspiring kids to read and write, or a bad thing because kids aren’t interested in reading books anymore? We think that the internet is changing what people read about but at the same time we’re sad to see that books aren’t being read that often anymore. The internet has really opened up some doors in allowing us to bring you, the fans, content you probably wouldn’t find elsewhere very much. The debate this article gives is worth a read for anyone looking for more information.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Welcome to Moon Chase Version 2.0!

Dark Knight Edition!

For a while now, I had been contemplating on a new layout. I was particularly intrigued by the new Batman movie, as you can probably see from the new banner and layout. I'd like to think this site plays a part in keeping the legacy of Sailor Moon alive just the same as Batman has been portrayed in so many different incarnations (and of course, there are even more fansites out there for him). Since this has been a big year (you could even say a blockbuster year) for many of the people involved with the series, I thought that the new layout should be a play on another big blockbuster. Like Batman rose from the ashes of two really bad films, the Sailor moon fandom continues to thrive all over the world despite the lack of releases. The Legend of the Moon Princess lives on!

Let's have a moment to remember the first layout. I don't think I ever posted my inspiration for how I wanted the site to look in the first place. I was a little fed up with most Sailor Moon sites being all pink and pastel and "girly". Yes, it is a girl's series, but there are a lot of fans who are guys, and I couldn't help but think they'd be a little embarrassed to visit these places in public or around their friends or other prying eyes. Besides, anyone who knows me knows how I loathe the color pink - I would never stand for my website being this color! It took me four months to get Moon Chase going, but the hardest part was trying to pick how I wanted the site to look. It could have all the content that I wanted, but at the end of the day, it had to look good. Eventually, it finally hit me after looking at my Sailor Moon dolls (still in package) that I should go with blues and yellows. Those colors were used a lot together in the series (especially in the skies) and if I did it right, they would be easier on the eyes. As for the logo, when I started the site, I was on a mission to bring whatever I could to the fans that couldn't be found very much elsewhere. I have a great staff and we work together as a team. The original logo was going to be a crescent moon, with stick figures of the staff drawn along the edge. But then I thought that would look a little crummy, so I went with a silhouette of the Inner Senshi ("Sailor Team") over the moon along with a calligrapher font. At the time, the fonts I had wanted to use didn't work... but I figured, it would do for now.

Time goes on, and as things get bigger and bigger, change is always there! I don't know how long I'll keep this one up for, but it will stay at least until the fall. Enjoy!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sailor Moon Music Releases in Japan

We've learned about two new CD releases in Japan that have a lot to do with Sailor Moon!

The first one comes from Hatch Entertainment, and is titled Pico Moe! Future 8-Bit Series 2 Magical Chip 8-bit Chan (Catalog Number: HATCH-802). This title is too genki for us (8-bit chan?). The Sailor Moon theme song is among the 15 tracks reworked on this album. Others include songs from Pretty Cure, Ojamajo Doremi, Magical Girl Pretty Sammy, and Magical Angel Creamy Mami. Despite the odd title, some of these remixes are actually pretty cool to listen to. Fans can go here to hear samples.

The second one... makes us all feel old. There is a karaoke CD series in Japan called For the 30's Generation, and the fourth one is about to drop (Catalog Number COCX-35155). This one features lots of anime theme songs for those people who are in their thirties, and Sailor Moon is included. None of us on staff are close to being 30 yet and we really think they should have come up with a different title for it... we're not that old, and it's not like Sailor Moon is ancient either! Other popular songs are included from such anime as Kinnikuman, Cutie Honey, Galaxy Express 999, Gatchaman, Lupin the 3rd, and one of our favorites, Cha-La Head Cha-La from Dragon Ball Z. We can't decide between this and this which one is our favorite performance :). This one will be released in about a month's time.

Nonetheless, since official Sailor Moon releases of any kind have been slow the last few years, we fans almost have to take whatever we can get at this point. We're pleased to see that there's been quite a few artists over the years cover the songs from the series. Both CDs are available at your favorite asian import online retailer (we like YesAsia).

Flashpoint Episode 3 Ratings and International Distribution News!

We were able to find last night's episode's numbers pretty quickly! For the US, CBS won the timeslot but not the night. Flashpoint scored 1.7/5, but keep in mind that the show changed days only two days before, so next week should be better. We're really looking forward to next week's episode. CTV ratings for Canada reported 1.1 million viewers.

For the last two weeks, we had suspected something but we had stayed quiet. We had noticed quite a few hits coming from Europe to all of our Flashpoint posts and we had wondered and thought that it might have been something, and it turns out it was the thing we thought it was! Playback Magazine reports that international co-distributors Los Angeles' Alchemy Television and Germany's Tele M√ľnchen confirmed that the show had been picked up by the Britain's ITV and New Zealands TVNZ. Not entirely sure about New Zealand, but we know for sure Australia and Britain did get to see the Sailor Moon dub (in part at the very least) so to all our readers over there, the wait is over, Flashpoint is coming to you! 50 other territories are included in the deal, and some of them are France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Latin America and Scandinavia. We wonder if Stephanie Morgenstern (Sailor Venus #1) will have a hand in translating the series into the German language. A little known fact: She studied German in college and has translated the philosophies of Jung into English! There will be more confirmations this week and we will definitely report them as soon as they come in! Stephanie on the show's launch said "We could not ask for a better launch than this." To Stephanie, Mark Ellis, and the rest of the cast and crew, this show has far exceeded every Moon Chase! reader's expectations and we are really proud each one of you and the success you have achieved with Flashpoint!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Flashpoint In A Flash: Episode 3

Episode 3 summary after the jump! I'm getting better at blogging the episodes on the fly - I was only two minutes behind the live broadcast this time around (I wouldn't be able to do this if I wasn't able to rewind live TV). Big smiles everyone - and this doesn't mean you people on the west coast get to skip out on watching!

The Element of Surprise

We begin with what looks like an innocent man being held at gunpoint pleading for his life to a guy named Sean. The team is on the scene planning a solution to end this situation. They move in , set up some equipment. Another man in the room tries to swerve the gunman away, but ultimately he shoots... and REWIND! 3 hours earlier! We're at an Italian Deli and the young man is talking to his co-worker, Julia as they clean up. He shows her the big plush clownfish he bought for his niece's 4th birthday. He very shyly says he will swing by her place later. Back to SRU HQ. A mugshot is being passed around of the grand poobah of a drug gang, Sean Keenan. The team stages a raid. Braddock is a little too eager for this job, and tries to ask Jules out for dinner. She asserts to him that she doesn't want to lose what she worked too hard for, and declines. Then we go to a birthday party, where the young man (whose name is Jackson). We learn Jackson is a recovering addict, who has been clean for over 8 months. His sister declines to let him come in, and says that the $680 she gave him were saved up for his niece's music lessons. The team practices at headquarters for the upcoming raid and how they are going to apprehend their man. Jackson calls around to try to earn the money he owes his sister. He doesn't have much luck, but he ends up calling our grand poobah in question who says he can help him out. We have a bad feeling about this! Back at headquarters, another officer gives Ed Lane vague second thoughts about Braddock... ROLL CREDITS! We'd like to take this time to thank a very important person close to Stephanie Morgenstern for his support - we really appreciate it and it totally made our day when he told us we were the best blog for our Flashpoint coverage! We'll keep trying to do our best! Commercials! Dell's new line of computers looks sleek (but I'm going Mac in a year or so! ) Ugh Simply Orange... Back to the show! The team packs up and heads out through the streets of Toronto to an older apartment building. They encounter their gang insider who keeps them updated on what's going on. Jackson is walking through an alley and encounters a couple of gang members who want his shoes. He is rescued by another member who gets him out of the situation. He approaches the same building. We see another man walking though a hall making a phone call. Turns out he is an insider too. The team moves into position. Sean greets Jackson, and the second insider plays it cool with him. The insider is dragged into Sean's apartment along with Jackson, and the team uses a spy ball to monitor the situation. Those of you that heard Stephanie Morgenstern's and Mark Ellis' interview will remember that the spy ball is a remote controlled ball with a camera in it that they deploy wherever they want to monitor the situation. The negotiator wonders where the second insider is. They learn he is inside, and the group countdowns to the raid... and commercials! Gavin Rossdale is going to appear on this coming episode of Canadian Idol and Advil uses some pretty neat acrobats to show it's pain relieving properties. Back to the show! The negotiator notifies the team to hold back as their insider is still inside. Sean tempts Jackson with his worldly possesions, including cocaine. The team figures out a new plan of attack. The insider taunts Jackson so not to give up his alibi. Sean asks Jackson to have a seat, and the team evacuates construction crews below as they execute a more aggressive approach. Sean says he'll help Jackson out if he goes back to being a drug dealer, but Jackson refuses, knowing there is too much at stake. The one who rescued Jackson before calls up Sean and lets him know that there's cops on the scene. Instead of pointing the gun at the insider, Sean points it at Jackson. He pleads for his life, and the negotiator, Greg Parker gets Sean's phone number. This is where our episode began, and we see who Sean shoots - the insider! Commercials! I could go for some KD right now, and there's David Suzuki and his penguins again. The team calls for a silent EMT, and the negotiator and the first insider have an argument. The negotiator wants to negotiate, while the insider wants a full on raid. Jackson reveals that the insider was a cop who had once arrested him. Sean works out an alibi with him. Greg gets on the phone with Sean as he is flushing cocaine down the toilet. Sean tries to help out the insider, who advises him to get out, but Sean wants to stay inside. The team is still trying to figure out who Sean is and why he is in there. In between negotiation, the team learns about Jackson. Jackson watches Sean and waits for the right time to run. He takes the insider's cell phone and calls the first insider... and we cut to commercial. MMM Tim Horton's Iced Capp Supreme and Fitness Depot is having a floor model sale. Back to the show...Jackson talks to Ed Lane because he wants to help. Ed gets the insiders vitals, and tells him to put the phone down and leave it on so the crew can hear what's going on. Ed reassures Jackson that he's not at fault. Jackson hides the phone as Sean comes out of the bathroom and he tries to move the insider. The insider tells his name over the phone and leaves messages for his family. Sean sees Jackson moving the insider and the team raids the apartment. A shootout ensues and some members of the team rescue the insider - but Jackson is shot. Ed reassures him that everything is going to be okay, but unfortunately he dies. Sean is apprehended and taken away. Ed and Braddock have a fight over authority, and we learn Braddock accidentally shot his best friend in Afghanistan while they were on a mission. The episode ends and we see the team recover: Braddock cries looking at a picture of his buddy, Julia sobs outside the deli, Jules and Braddock leave the headquarters together. Ed drives up to Jackson's sister's house, to tell her the sad news that he is dead as she takes the clownfish out of the mailbox. Fade to black... We had read that Amy Jo Johnson was supposed to have a song playing at the end of this episode, but this song was sung by a male. Maybe next week? Next week's episode deals with a hostage situation involving a family with an abusive husband.

This episode was definitely different than the other two. We saw more tension between the team and it's rookie member, which had a big role in how the conflict was resolved. The team members definitely had a sense things didn't go as planned and they were frustrated with it. It seemed as if the wrong person had lost their life and they have given the team a lot to think about. We look forward to next week's show!

Rare Miyuki Kanbe Interview

We at Moon Chase! are still saddened to read about Miyuki Kanbe (3rd Sailor Moon in Sera Myu). Her story was truly a tragedy and when we read about her older works and how successful they were, we shed some tears, she was truly taken before her time. We came across an interview that she did in 2005, shortly after the release of Kamen Rider Hibiki in which she had a leading role as Hinaka Tachibana. She talks about how she achieved her dreams of being an actress, and working on Battle Royale II and Kamen Rider Hibiki. Full, and translated interview is posted after the jump. We'll warn you that we had a little trouble trying to translate this, so if something doesn't seem right, it was the best we could figure out. Miyuki's death is still popular in Japan, as she is still number 1 in the internet searches.

Interviewer: Did you always aim to be in the Entertainment Industry?

Miyuki: When I was in my first year of Junior High School, I worked very hard to play on the Tennis Team so that in the future I could become a professional Tennis Player! It was a lot of hard work and it hurt. In my second year of Junior High School, I transferred into another school that didn’t have a tennis program. So I tried out for volleyball with the captain of the team for that very small school. It is a sport where you need good hand-eye coordination, but the players had already been chosen. I lost out, and soon I didn’t want to go to school anymore (laughs). I didn’t have any extra-curricular activities, I would leave my house and come back only to go to school. They consulted my mother and asked her why I wasn’t involved in any extra-curricular activities and if I was okay. I didn’t think of the entertainment industry at that time, but I got very depressed and I couldn’t stand it much longer. It was then that I started taking notice of audition notices.

Then your mother supported you?

That’s right! I auditioned for many companies and was rejected, but finally I passed one audition. I was very motivated in my acting and dancing lessons that I had received. I was not allowed to slack off because of my mother’s support! I was introduced to theatrical companies one day, and I thought "This is my opportunity".

Do you remember your first job after you were signed?

It seems (we think she is trying to say everyone thinks) Sailor Moon was my first job, but in truth there was one before that. I sang songs for a lunch program, and there were ten other idols on that show with me. While I was on this show, I auditioned for the Sailor Moon musical and I won the leading role.

**We think she is talking about an old show called Yumeko hoshi Musume, something like Morning Musume where she was part of a large group of female singing idols.

Was it hard to believe that you were going to play the third Sailor Moon?

It didn’t seem real to me, I heard the message that I had won the part of Sailor Moon several days later, and it was first passed to my mother and father. I had read the part for my audition and I performed the role in my image. Of course, Anza Oyama and Fumina Hara had played the role before me, but I had never seen them on stage and it was left to my imagination to think about how to play the role. Trying to do this for the first time, I realized what an enormous task it was.

In 2003, Battle Royale II: Requiem was released in theaters. In February 2005, Special Battle Royale II was released on DVD in which some scenes that were shot after the movie’s release were included, do you think it was better?

I am glad that there were more scenes added to the fire!

Were you scared of the challenging stunts?

(Laughs) I said I hope there are no stunts. I fell, and there was fire all around me and I felt a kind of throbbing. This made me think that my foot had been burnt! When we were shooting, I was drizzled all over with a special gel coat so that if I was on fire it would not spread or burn me. This was a valuable experience I never thought I would have!

That scene is one of the highlights!

That’s right! When we shot again for this volume, I was surprised. When I previewed my scene for the first time, I was worried for the other actors health! I talked to the director Kenta afterwards, and he said he was sorry and laughed. This was so violent because everyone liked what they saw in the movie!

Also in 2005 you have been cast in Kamen Rider Hibiki as Hinaka Tachibana . Please tell us about yours!

Hibiki’s attack is very smooth. Other than that I can’t give you much more information about Hibiki or the supporting cast.

Do you have anything in common with your character?

It is hidden in my head! But you are smart! Hinaka is very sociable and friendly, even when she meets someone for the first time.

I see it, she is just like you and I was right!

She is a little bright. If I was a little more excited I might be like her!

What did you think of Kamen Rider when you were first offered the role?

I couldn’t turn down Kamen Rider. I think that series is very cool. The show was growing up but the children may find it hard to watch.

The protagonist Hibiki, drives the series. He is damaged by the enemy and his humanity comes out quite painfully, don’t you think?

His humanity is different from all of the other series. Up until now Kamen Rider would say “Shit! I will not be defeated!” With the heroes trying to be cool and always winning, the children have picked up on this pattern and yearn to win all the time. But wouldn’t you rather see them learn a more normal pattern like in Hibiki? We have to remember Kamen Rider fights for everyone, not just for the children. It gives adults more to think about.

What is Shigeki Hosokawa really like?

He is interesting! He is very gentle and always greets everyone in stage rehearsals , readings, and shootings. The studio is always cold, and there is a heater but it doesn’t suffice for everyone. And then you think about it being cold a lot and he always says thank you for helping us make a hit!

Broadcasts are still continuing, but what about where you shoot?

They are all great! Because there is too much around when we shoot and it is often overlooked. The show is only 30 minutes long , so please record it on video and pay attention!

On your blog from February 14th to March 15th, I noticed there was a cat and dog but you aren’t their owner right?

On February 20th, I met with one of my friends who I used to play with. So I took a few pictures of my friends dog. But that pet cat is mine!

Do you spend your holidays with the cat or alone?

I sleep a lot during my holidays. I come home dead tired, and I usually go right to bed, so much for lunch. When the cat came, she likes to cuddle up with me and we both fall asleep. Most holidays I end up sleeping.

What about those scratches on your hand?

On March 6th, I was lifting up my cat. She didn’t want to be lifted up and didn’t feel comfortable so she scratched me. After that, I clipped her nails.

You have released a photobook, and you have acted. What are your future challenges?

I want to make use of my voice and be a voice actor. I want to work in cartoons. I just got my own PC and I want to have my own official website with links to my office (agency) and pictures and diaries. I am still learning about how to do all of that.

What do you do in your off time?

I have a SHADOW 400cc motorcycle that I like to ride. When I have free time, I like to go tea drinking in Shibuya.

Finally, what would you like to say to the fans?

I play Hinaka Tachibana in Kamen Rider Hibiki, and she was a good person to play. Please support Hibiki as much as you have supported the other Kamen Rider series! Please watch us warmly because we all like to act in different things!

Rest in Peace, Miyuki-chan.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Breaking News: Flashpoint Being Moved To New Timeslot on CBS

Hey Moonies: Before I start this article I know a few of our readers (and probably then some) are a little concerned with us covering Flashpoint more than anything else as of late. I'm trying really hard to catch up with other updates but if I have an article that's going to be several pages versus one that's a couple of paragraphs, I'm more inclined to work on the shorter one and get it up faster, and nibble slowly at the other one. Plus, if other VAs had bigger ventures we'd be giving them the same amount of coverage too. At Moon Chase, we don't favor one star over another because we have such a diverse group of readers so we try to find a happy medium and please everyone. A few key players involved in the production of Flashpoint have been reading this blog and that also adds a little more pressure on me because I have to make sure that I catch everything as much as I can so that I'm keeping them interested too (and up to speed on where fan buzz is going). Putting this together does take a lot.

Back to the topic at hand: CBS announced earlier yesterday that Flashpoint and Swingtown are swapping timeslots as of this week. We have a feeling this is because Swingtown wasn't as successful as the network had expected. Flashpoint is now moving to Thursday nights at 10PM EST (check your local listings), and Swingtown is taking over Flashpoint's old timeslot. Now as of this writing, CTV has not made an announcement if the show is going to switch timeslots on their network too. CTV shows Law and Order: Criminal Intent on thursdays during the timeslot that CBS is moving it too. This could mean potential trouble for the Canadian ratings, as those Canadians with cable are likely to watch the show on Thursday and skip the Friday airing. This would skew the numbers and could also put the show in some uneasy situations if a second season is ordered because of a potential decreased success in Canada. We will keep you posted if CTV decides to change the timeslot.

EDIT: Today, CTV also announced that it was moving the show to the same Thursday timeslot as CBS! It also looks like both networks are keeping the encores on Sunday evenings. And we can also report you numbers for the second episode's viewership! 7.1 million viewers in the United States, and 980,000 viewers in Canada caught the show last Friday!

Stephanie Morgenstern Comments On Flashpoint

This morning's Montreal Gazette featured a story about Flashpoint by Brendan Kelly. Kelly writes that he is dismayed by the show's lack of promotion in Quebec. Quebeckers typically take a lot of pride in anything produced by personalities from there, and Stephanie Morgenstern (Sailor Venus #1) was raised in Montreal. She even acted in a French sitcom, La Vie, La Vie. Last week when the numbers came out for the premiere, we were really happy to hear of her success with the show, but we wondered why all over Canadian television it was always the executive producers Bill Mustos and Anne Marie La Traverse appearing and not the creators. The Gazette was able to get comment from Stephanie about the show. She has a lot of really good things to say about how she and Mark present the stories each week, and we've pasted her bit after the jump!

For Morgenstern - who plays a terrified hostage in the first episode - Flashpoint is much more than a standard-issue police procedural show.

"What we're delivering are universal human stories," said Morgenstern, who was born in Switzerland, raised in Montreal and left our town for Toronto after studying English and German at McGill.

"From one episode to the next, at the heart of it is always one desperate or frightened person who did not expect to be facing a tactical team, living the most terrifying moment of their life," added Morgenstern, whose previous credits include roles in Maelstrom and The Sweet Hereafter.

"I think people respond to that. Some of the stories are about career criminals, but more of them are about ordinary people who've been pushed to the edge because of something they desperately believe in whether it's saving their daughter's life or protecting a brother.

"In addition, there's the way that the team responds to these emotional incidents. Emotions go right through their bullet-proof vests. You can take off the vests at the end of the day, but what's gone into your eyes or ears, you can't get rid of that. You've had a front-row seat to the most frightening moment of someone's life and you can't shake that at the end of the day."

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Breaking News: Flashpoint Being Considered For An Extended Run

Last Friday at the Television Critics Association's Annual Summer Press Tour, CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler admitted that she was both surprised and gratified by Flashpoint's early success. She also had this to say: "It started as an aberration of the strike and it's turned into something terrific. We have a great relationship with CTV and the producers. We're pleased with the numbers." The production has encouraged CBS to take a closer look at international productions. She also added that the network is considering extending the order beyond 13 episodes if the show continues its success.

On another note, the ratings slipped for last Friday's timeslot, but we probably have a hunch that a good number of viewers were out watching The Dark Night. Last week saw 8 million viewers, and this week saw 7.5 million viewers. Courtesy of Media Week, here are the numbers for CBS. It's thought that more viewers turned in during the second half after a story ended on NBC's Dateline.

10:00 p.m.

ABC – 20/20
Viewers: 4.41 million (#3), A18-49: 1.4/ 5 (#2t)

CBS – Flashpoint
Viewers: 6.75 million (#1), A18-49: 1.4/ 5 (#2t)

NBC – Dateline
Viewers: 5.94 million (#2), A18-49: 1.5/ 5 (#1)

10:30 p.m.

ABC – 20/20
Viewers: 4.86 million (#3), A18-49: 1.6/ 6 (#1t)

CBS – Flashpoint
Viewers: 7.46 million (#1), A18-49: 1.6/ 6 (#1t)

NBC – Dateline
Viewers: 5.76 million (#2), A18-49: 1.4/ 5 (#3)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Is This A Joke?

We Can't Believe It's Goku!

Sankei Express has posted a picture of the first ever movie poster for the Dragon Ball movie, which will be hitting theaters on March 13th of 2009. We've posted it here for all our readers to see. The poster features a picture of the backside of Justin Chatwin as Son Goku. We're not particularly enthused about this movie after seeing this poster... in fact, our already low expectations just got lower. We agree with most fans' opinion that Justin Chatwin looks too scrawny for the role. The Japanese article talks about how Chow Yun Fat and Eriko Tamura are playing Master Roshi and Mai respectively, and reveals the film's budget. A whopping 10 Billion Yen - or for those of us who don't know the exchange rates, around 94 Million US Dollars. We have even read of James Marsters talking in interviews how this will likely be a trilogy. Oh Fox, if this is a hit, it will be a miracle. Or else, it will be just like the disappointment that was Speed Racer.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Flashpoint in a Flash: Episode 2

Gomen Nasai (translation: Sorry) readers! I posted this late at night and in a rush and I forgot that some readers do not appreciate spoilers! Full summary of last night's episode after the jump!

Episode 2: First In Line

Here we go again with our coverage and episode summaries of Stephanie Morgenstern's (Sailor Venus #1) and Mark Ellis's hit show, Flashpoint. We begin in an operating room. A man is dying, and standing over him is a man with a gun ready to fire. We see Gregory Parker attempt to negotiate with the man telling him he doesn't have to do it, and the man yells "YES I DO!" and he looks like he's about to pull the trigger ; and rewind! We are taken to 2 hours earlier where the man (Jack Swanson) is sitting with his daughter Phoebe, who is ailing at her home in a nursing unit. They reminisce about a fishing trip years ago. They get a page with the news of a new heart. The SRU breaks in the new Rookie who proves everyone wrong in his first simulation. Back to the man's house - Ruby, her nurse prepares her to get in the car to rush to the hospital with her father. As he is speeding, he is caught by a policeman who soon empathizes with his situation and escorts him to the hospital. At Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital, they prepare her for surgery, where the administration notifies Swanson that a computer glitch has bumped his daughter off the list for a much older man. He walks away, but pulls a fast one taking an unaware security guard's gun and turns on the hospital staff declaring "The Heart Belongs to Phoebe!" ROLL OPENING! And Commercials! Why is the ad for Swing Vote so corny? Rickard's White Ale is sponsoring this week's closed captioning. And the show returns! SRU prepares for a trip to the hospital and takes off in two black Chevy Suburbans. The Administrator tells Swanson again that the heart isn't Phoebe's, and he makes his way to the O.R. with the gun, and the intent of shooting the man who is going to be receiving the heart. The Suburbans arrive at the beautiful entrance of Mt. Sinai and they head inside, setting up a command post in the Security Room. Jules takes over, and a nurse comes in telling them what happened. The crew goes silent, and a little unsure what to do. Greg is sent off to start negotiations as they have only an hour left before the heart is no longer viable. The crew works out a plan, but as the negotiation starts, Jack gets a little uneasy. Commercials! I want some Szechuan style chicken from KFC. And some Kraft Dinner. Back to the show! Greg is still negotiating with Jack. Jules learns that Jack might be feeling guilty over the loss of his wife in a car accident where he was driving some time ago. Greg tries to soften the situation by asking him a few questions about his family. The heart arrives, and the clock is ticking. We're lead into this awkward scene where the negotiator convinces Jack to check and see if the patients are okay because the crew can't tell from the cameras very well. The Forensic Psychologist Luria arrives on the scene. The crew sends the rookie out to ... go to Tim Horton's for coffee? Errm... isn't this supposed to be a tense situation -_-'. More planning ensues, and a paramedic brings the heart into the hospital, and the rookie lets him in. This is a big mistake because as soon as he enters the CICU, he surrenders the heart to Jack. Now things are complicated. The man is wheeled into the OR, and Jack fires... at an officer coming from behind! OH THE SUSPENCE AND COMMERCIALS! David Suzuki reminds everyone to turn the AC one degree higher to save enough energy for 38K homes among a bunch of penguins. Blargh who cares about Canadian Idol?! Back to the show! Jack is sorry about shooting the officer, who is okay thanks to his vest. Greg works his words to get the heart to the Doctor to make sure the heart is okay... and it works. The Doctor can examine the heart but only if he stays in front of Jack. The negotiator manages to get Phoebe out of the situation by saying she is going to be prepped just in case. Jules accompanies her. And we have less than half an hour left on the heart. Luria catches Sam and informs him on his mistake lighting up the fire. She suggests he takes her fishing rod up to the girl. Greg and Jack talk about car racing. We learn that Greg's son is with his ex-wife and he hasn't seen him in 9 years. We see a softer side of Greg who tried to change his life for his family but in the end, just couldn't. Jack wants Phoebe to have her life. 15 minutes left for the heart... Greg reveals to Jack that Phoebe is not getting the heart. Jack breaks down and Greg tells him that he just has to let go and Phoebe will get a heart eventually. The conflict seems to be at an end... but then Jack makes his way into the OR. How will this end? After the commercials of course. Those Pedigree puppies are cute ~ next time I am in Toronto I want to visit Ward Island. Back to the show - the snipers are in position. Greg has minutes left on the heart, and lies to Jack saying the heart is damaged and it's no good, in a last ditch effort to get him to drop the gun. The Rookie comes in with his daughter's fishing rod, and Greg gives it to Jack. Jack enters another room where he thinks his daughter is, but she is not there. He is swarmed from all angles by members of the SRU. Jack catches on to the lie, and he is taken into custody. Greg walks out of the command post disturbed and drives off. Jules watches as the man who got the new heart is wheeled off... but wait, there's a change of plans, Phoebe is getting the heart, and the man tells the nurse "it wasn't his turn". So a somewhat happy ending, and Greg visits her as she recovers and gives her Capretti's autographed racing glove. Greg sits with Jack in his jail cell, where he breaks down. Commercials ~ eww Simply Orange and African Lion Safari looks like fun! And next week's episode features the SRU dealing with gangs and drugs.

This episode was a definite improvement on last week's premiere. Amy Jo Johnson's and Enrico Colantoni's characters definitely had more substance. We thought the scenes where they sent off the rookies to Tim Horton's in the middle of the situation and when Jack asked around if everyone was okay were a little awkward. Nonetheless, the ending wasn't as grim as last week's and we really look forward to next week's episode!

Shoko Nakagawa Covers Sailor Moon In North America!

Anime Expo ran at the Los Angeles Convention Center from July 3-6 this year. One of the guests this year is one of Moon Chase's favorite idols, Shoko "Shokotan" Nakagawa! Shoko is known as the Queen of Blogging in Japan for she blogs about a hundred times a day. For her visit to the United States, she has a limited edition blog in English, and fans can definitely check it out here for a taste of what her Official Japanese Blog is like! If we could have a writer that could stay up to the minute with Sailor Moon news, we'd definitely appreciate someone like her! She even posted an entry with a picture of Sailor Moon cosplayer wondering what her transformation/henshin phrase was in English, and another one with a picture of a Rini/Chibi-Usa cosplayer. We were happy to hear that she was welcomed very warmly in the United States (despite the Bomb Scare) and also got to enjoy the convention as a con-goer. There are so many idols in Japan that are probably hugely popular but they may be relatively unknown here. Shoko is best known to the otaku as the singer from Gurren Lagann.

She also performed a concert of beloved anime songs plus some of her own , including Sorairo Days and Tsuzuku Sekai both from the popular Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann (the former from the series and the latter from the upcoming movie). She even shot a video for Tsuzuku Sekai when she was in Los Angeles! We were able to find some video of her singing Moonlight Densetsu, better known as the theme song for the first four seasons of Sailor Moon in Japan, as well as the movies! She didn't cosplay as a character from Sailor Moon, but was was dressed up like Haruhi Suzumiya from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Here they come!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Breaking News: Flashpoint Numbers For Sunday Are In!

Hot on the heels of yesterday's breaking news about Stephanie Morgenstern (Sailor Venus #1) and Mark Ellis' Flashpoint sailing to the top of the ratings for Friday night, we have learned the ratings for the Sunday encore. In the United States, 5.6 million viewers watched it, and in Canada, there were 625,000 viewers. For those of you keeping a running total, this brings the weekend's total to 13.7 million viewers for the United States and 1.7 million viewers for Canada. These are absolutely phenomenal numbers for the show's debut and we wish the cast and crew the best of luck for coming episodes! We hear this Sunday focuses on Ed Lane, the team's negotiator. Lane is played by Enrico Colantoni, which some of our readers may recognize from Veronica Mars. He played Keith Mars. This is also Enrico's second venture with a Sailor Moon VA - in 2001's AI: Artificial Intelligence, he played The Murderer. The film also featured Sabrina Grdevich (Sailor Pluto #1, Ann) as the cyborg in the film's beginning scene.

We'll be taking a break from reporting about Flashpoint until the end of the week. Tomorrow we should return with our Japanese star sightings!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Breaking News: Flashpoint IS #1 !

Happy tears everyone! Stephanie Morgenstern (Sailor Venus #1) and her husband Mark Ellis' new TV show Flashpoint is a big hit in the United States! Nobody predicted this because CBS did not do very much promotion for the show compared to CTV which had commercials running frequently, as well as behind the scenes stories on etalk. A whopping 8.13 million viewers tuned in for Friday's premiere, making it the top rated show in households for that evening! The show also scored first with adults aged 25 to 54, and adults 18 to 49. Canadian numbers are expected to be released sometime today. All of our stories covering the show even from the very beginning stages are becoming very popular, and the summary we posted of the first episode is the article people are reading most at this site. Late Friday night we had to add in a Flashpoint tag so people would be able to access the stories a lot easier. On behalf of all the staff at Moon Chase, we would like to thank every Sailor Moon fan who watched the show on Friday and Sunday, and also to every fan who went out and promoted the show on blogs, websites, forums, and by word-of-mouth. We did it, and we definitely helped bring the show to the top in very difficult circumstances. We had heard from several sources in and out of the industry that the show was a desperate acquisition from CBS , that it was likely going to be canceled within a few episodes and the only reason the network cared was because they wanted something new in case the Writers Strike wasn't resolved. But we never lost faith because we've caught most of Stephanie's work and she always put in a lot of effort to make the best production she possibly could. Congratulations to Stephanie and Mark, and thanks again to all the fans!

EDIT: Canadian ratings are in and here they are quoted from CTV. CTV also congratulated the cast, creators, and creative team behind the show!

Across Canada, the series delivered 1.11 million total viewers, 140% more than the next closest 10 p.m. competitor, winning both its time-slot and the night. The series premiere also finished #1 in Adults 18-34, Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54 demos.

The episode was #1 at 10 p.m. in each of Canada's three metered markets; Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. Nationally, the audience grew in its second half-hour, peaking at 1.26 million viewers.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sailor Moon in Asian Culture News!

Japan's Pop Culture Influence Grows in China

Searchina reports that Japan's growing pop culture influence on China is growing to epidemic proportions among those born from the 1970s on. These Chinese look forward to skateboarding, listening to Japanese Hip- Hop, and wathing anime like Doraemon, Chibi Maruko-chan, Slam Dunk, and Sailor Moon. We don't see a problem, but the tone of the article makes it seem like it is *shrugs*. The article goes on to say that J-dramas like Love Letter and Tokyo Love Story are very popular. They also like wearing platform shoes, short skirts, and curly hair. Celebrities like Noriko Sekai, Namie Amuro, Utada Hikaru, Ayumi Hamasaki and SMAP star Takuya Kimura are more popular than Chinese celebrities. Ayumi Hamasaki's statue is especially popular in Hong Kong's Madame Tussaud's Museum, and many stop to take pictures with it (We've pictured it here for you). We'll also add that Ayumi Hamasaki in 2007 performed for the first time in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Shanghai. She'll be performing in those places again in the fall. In 2006 , her song Secret was used as the theme song for a Hong Kong film, Confession of Pain. We thought this hit sounded a lot more oriental than what we are used to hearing from her (except for her song Will which we think is highly underrated). Last summer's smash singles Glitter and Fated had videos that were shot in the form of a mini-movie called Kyo Ai - Distance Love. Those were shot in Hong Kong, and featured Cantonese film actor Shawn Yue as her love interest. It's always nice to see celebrities cross countries , seeing past country rivalries because in the end it's all about what a fan likes to see.

Nakayoshi's Big Event to Have Restrictions on Attendance This Year

Nakayoshi, is a manga magazine that is aimed for little girls in Japan, featuring a special toy in each issue. Sailor Moon made it's debut in the magazine in February of 1992. Each summer, Nakayoshi holds a special convention known as the Big Event, in Tokyo. There are activities for the girls like screenings, dance lessons, mini-drama (we assume they are talking about kigurumi), and autograph sessions where the manga artists and actors come together. Anime such as Pretty Cure, and Sailor Moon have been featured in the past. Lately, there has been a disheartening trend, according to Techinsight. More and more adult men are coming to the Big Event, taking all of the swag before the little girls can. The article goes on to say that there is a famous picture somewhere on the internet of a little girl being shoved from the front of the stage by much bigger, adult men who wanted to watch a Shugo Chara show. It was her backside that they should have been seeing, not the other way around. Sponsors of the event this year expect Nakayoshi to place restrictions so that the girls can enjoy it without being intimidated.

BREAKING NEWS - Flashpoint to Repeat Tonight!

Hey Moonies - meant to update yesterday but didn't get the time to. Stephanie Morgenstern's (Sailor Venus#1) Flashpoint is going to get a second chance on CBS and CTV tonight - check your local listings. It will probably be at the same time it aired on Friday. Please tell everyone you know who didn't catch it on Friday to watch it tonight. Maybe you could even throw a viewing party, where everyone brings in some Sailor Venus relic to cuddle up with on the couch ^_^. There is a rumor going around that if the show does better with ratings tonight, it may be moved permanently to Sunday.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Flashpoint in a Flash: Episode 1

Read our episode summary and opinion after the jump! Since this was written as the show aired, there's no paragraph formatting. Readers, feel free to leave your opinions on the show after the jump!

Episode 1: Scorpio

So our episode begins somewhere in downtown Toronto, in medias res. Stephanie Morgenstern (Sailor Venus #1) is terrified and being held hostage by an older man with a gun speaking a different language. We see a mediator trying to calm the situation, and a sniper on the roof ready to pull the trigger... then we rewind to 2 hours earlier. Our sniper, Ed Lane (played by Hugh Dillon) is at home and tells his wife he has to miss her parents’ anniversary. He is picked up by his buddy, officer Wordsworth, and they sing asong “when constabulary duty’s to be done, to be done, a policeman’s job is not a happy one, happy one”. We’re then taken to a scene all too familiar to Torontonians, a TTC subway car. Our hostage taker is riding the train up to Osgoode station with his son, and kisses him goodbye. Of course, there’s haunting music playing in the background and we know something bad is going to happen, eventually. Then it goes to the training facility/home base for the Special Response Unit. We get a little taste of the banter between the officers interspersed with shots of the hostage-taker walking through a subway station , and eventually encountering his ex-wife who works as a caretaker in an office building. He shoots her in the head, and.. Roll Credits! Ahh, we feel so proud when we see “Created by Mark Ellis & Stephanie Morgenstern” on the screen. Commercials ensue. The hostage taker is now walking through a mall, encounters Stephanie (who could potentially be shopping for a Sailor V plushie, you never know) and he is confronted by a security guard. Both draw their weapons, and she is taken hostage and pulled out of the building. The guard calls for help, and pretty soon the whole square is surrounded by SRU forces. They all move into position, and the negotiator Sargent Gregory Parker (played by Enrico Colantoni) figures out what language the hostage-taker is speaking. The mundaneness of these few minutes where everyone moves into position is broken by elevator humor and Jules (Amy Jo Johnson) having to take the stairs to the top of the building. We learn that his ex-wife probably won’t survive the gunshot. Ed locks his sniper on the suspect and everyone runs their checks. Commercials - and the Joker looks a lot scarier in HD. Back to the show - the son is in the crowds and runs past the tape. Despite the best efforts of the Officer to calm him down, it is futile, and the situation leads Ed to shoot the suspect dead. Stephanie survives, but is visibly shaken and covered with blood. An officer takes her aside. Now the story begins: we see Ed go through many emotions as he deals with his conscience after killing someone. Commercials - Moore’s is having some sort of summer sale on menswear?! He is taken away by police who investigate the shooting, everyone around him assures him he did a good job. Jules meets Braddock in an odd encounter. Ed is in an interrogation room where he is “de-briefed” and joined by his lawyer as he is questioned by a detective. He’s interrupted by his wife who calls to see if that was him this morning. Ed is still in a daze after what has happened and the show cuts to his son at violin practice. He turns still after hearing what has happened from his mom. Back at HQ, he encounters the forensic pychologist, but he isn’t ready to talk yet and goes to shoot a few practice rounds. Commercials - now I want a Tim Hortons’ Hazlenut Iced Capp Supreme... ooh X-Files Trailer! The gang goes to a bar where there’s a retirement party happening. Everyone is introduced properly to Braddock, who is the newest addition to their team. Another member is promoted and they lose one. Everyone at the table is chatty except for Ed, who is still frozen from what happened. He heads to the men’s room to regain his composure. Greg walks in as he washes his face, and tells Ed that even though he says he is fine, he should count how many times he says it. A song plays, and there’s a montage of the son looking at his father’s body in the morgue, Jules at her door, Braddock in a hotel room, and Ed looking over a report and signing it. He finally comes home to a snowy tv screen, and he is greeted by his son who comes down the stairs. He holds his son as his wife looks on. Again, no words , only feeling. Commercials - Simply Orange juice is too bitter for my tastes... and a preview of the next episode. A father of a child waiting for a heart transplant turns his gun on the hospital staff.

Whoo! That was a mouthful, and now for our impressions. The show is definitely a welcome take on the cop show genre. Amy Jo Johnson is playing an all-too-familiar female action character, but we really hope that she has a bit more depth as the show goes on. The same goes for Enrico Colantoni’s character - his negotiation skills seemed a little empty this episode. We thought that the portrayal of Hugh Dillon's daze and anguish was very well done. But, this is only the pilot, and it’s hard for an actor in one episode to really know what their characters are like this early on. We look forward to the rest of this series, and we once again extend our congratulations to Stephanie and Mark from every Sailor Moon fan!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Flashpoint Premieres Today!

Stephanie Morgenstern (Sailor Venus #1) and her husband Mark Ellis' brainchild Flashpoint premieres tonight on CTV and CBS (check your local listings). We've read a little shaky buzz over the fact that the show is premiering on a Friday, and after reruns of Numb3rs. But most of the reviews we have read are very positive. This is why it's important for every fan who can to watch it tonight. I was planning on liveblogging it tonight but unfortunately I have to be somewhere when it airs. Nonetheless, I will have a summary up tonight, I'm recording the show and if that fails , I will catch it on timeshift at the very least.

We've learned a lot more details about the show in the last day. It costs nearly 2 million dollars to create each episode of the show, and to date is Canada's most expensive TV production. There are eight episodes finished , with five left to go. Stephanie Morgenstern appears in a few places throughout the series, and she and Mark spoke very candidly about the show in an interview with Blogtalk radio/TV Eh?. Mark even fills in during readings for parts that haven't been cast yet! Fans should definitely give this podcast a listen if they haven't already! The first episode Scorpio, is a twist of a real incident which happened in the summer of 2004. The show's story involves a Croatian man who is very disturbed over a divorce, and he takes an innocent woman hostage in the middle of downtown at lunch. The second episode, First in Line involves a hospital blip where a father learns a heart promised to his ill daughter has been given to someone else. The father then turns the gun on the hospital team leaving the SRU faced with a difficult decision. The third episode The Element of Surprise tells of how drug gangs tear apart families. Cast member Amy Jo Johnson (best known as Kimberly the Pink Ranger from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) has a song that will be used at the end of the this episode, to the delight of her fans everywhere!

Again, this is a huge year for all the VAs of Sailor Moon and we here at Moon Chase really want to see them continue on their ventures (so that every year can be bigger than the last)! It's important for us fans to support them in everything that they do to the best of our abilities. So please, catch this show when it airs! We'd like to extend a huge thank you to Jay Navok at Genvid who has assisted us in promoting this show!